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26.09.2007 – 08:34

N.V. Organon

Protherics Licenses its CoVaccine HT Adjuvant to Nobilon for Influenza Vaccine Indications

Boxmeer, The Netherlands and London (ots/PRNewswire)

Nobilon
International B.V., part of Organon, the human health care business
unit of Akzo Nobel, and Protherics PLC, the international
biopharmaceutical company focused on critical care and cancer, today
announced that Nobilon has licensed Protherics' CoVaccine HT(TM)
adjuvant for use in pandemic influenza vaccines, and seasonal
influenza vaccines in elderly people.
More than 300 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine are
produced each year globally, leaving a considerable shortfall in the
event of a pandemic influenza outbreak. A powerful adjuvant, such as
CoVaccine(TM), may reduce the amount of antigen required in a
pandemic influenza vaccine, enabling rapid, large scale production in
the event of a pandemic influenza outbreak and for planned
stockpiling. In addition, the CoVaccine HT(TM) adjuvant may increase
the potency of a seasonal influenza vaccine for elderly people, with
impaired immune systems.
The licensing agreement gives Nobilon the exclusive, global rights
excluding the US, to develop, manufacture and commercialize two new
influenza vaccines containing CoVaccine HT(TM). Protherics will
receive an upfront payment from Nobilon on signing the agreement.
Protherics is also entitled to receive success related milestone
payments and royalty payments on net sales by Nobilon.
Also announced today, Nobilon and a consortium of leading European
vaccine experts has received a EUR3.5 million grant to help fund the
development of a pandemic influenza vaccine containing CoVaccine
HT(TM).
Han van den Bosch, director Research and Development of Nobilon
commented: "We are delighted to have gained exclusive access to
CoVaccine HT, a promising new adjuvant from Protherics, for use in
our flu vaccines. The very encouraging results in preclinical
experiments using Nobilon's influenza antigen produced by cell
culture and Protherics' CoVaccine adjuvant, justifies further
clinical development."
Andrew Heath, Chief Executive of Protherics commented: "The
agreement with Nobilon today supports our excitement about the
prospects for our CoVaccine HT adjuvant, which we are also
incorporating in our Angiotensin Therapeutic Vaccine. We also have
considerable interest from other external parties to use our adjuvant
in their vaccines across a range of other potential indications."
About the CoVaccine HT(TM) Adjuvant
An adjuvant is a substance which enhances the immune response and
so helps maximise the production of antibodies. The CoVaccine HT(TM)
adjuvant is a sucrose fatty acid sulphate ester that increases both
humoral and cell-mediated immune responses to experimental vaccines
following intramuscular administration. In nonclinical studies, the
adjuvant has been well-tolerated with no limiting local toxicity, and
has produced encouraging immune responses.
About Nobilon
Nobilon International BV, part of Organon, a biopharmaceutical
business unit of Akzo Nobel, was founded in 2003. It has production
and R&D facilities in Boxmeer and Oss, the Netherlands. The
biotechnology company is dedicated to develop, produce and market
human vaccines against infectious diseases, building on existing
expertise within sister companies Intervet and Organon. Nobilon
focuses on respiratory and traveler's diseases. One of its core
expertises is large scale cell culture production of viruses,
including influenza. Nobilon currently employs approximately 75 staff
in production and R&D. http://www.nobilon.com
About Protherics
Protherics (LSE: PTI, NASDAQ: PTIL) is a leading biopharmaceutical
company focused on the development, manufacture and marketing of
specialised products for critical care and cancer. The Company's
strategy is to use the revenues generated from its marketed and
out-licensed products to help fund the advancement of its broad, late
stage pipeline. Protherics has a strong cash position, with unaudited
cash balances at 30 June 2007 of GBP45m. With headquarters in London,
the Company has approximately 270 employees across its operations in
the UK, US and Australia. For further information visit:
http://www.protherics.com
Safe Harbor Statement Organon(i)
This press release may contain statements which address such key
issues as growth strategy, future financial results, market
positions, product development, pharmaceutical products in the
pipeline, and product approvals of Organon. Such statements should be
carefully considered, and it should be understood that many factors
could cause forecasted and actual results to differ from these
statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, price
fluctuations, currency fluctuations, progress of drug development,
clinical testing and regulatory approval, developments in raw
material and personnel costs, pensions, physical and environmental
risks, legal issues, and legislative, fiscal, and other regulatory
measures. Stated competitive positions are based on management
estimates supported by information provided by specialized external
agencies. For a more comprehensive discussion of the risk factors
affecting our business please see our Annual Report on Form 20-F
filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, a
copy of which can be found on the company's corporate website
http://www.akzonobel.com.
(i) Pursuant to the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
1995.

Contact:

For more information, please contact: Monique Mols, Director media
relations, Organon, Tel. +31-412-665440, e-mail:
monique.mols@organon.com

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